One of Philadelphia¨s most famous landmarks is about to get a facelift.
The giant friendship gate that marks the entrance to Chinatown will soon undergo a major renovation.
For 24 years the 10th and Arch streets gate of friendship has been as a cultural landmark that represents home and pride to those who live here and a guide to those who come to visit.
"It¨s just a universal symbol. This is where Chinese heritage is running rampant and you know welcome all to see it," Maryal Conception, of New York City, said.
The gate in Philadelphia is unique because it¨s the only authentic gate in the United States built by Chinese artisans.
In 1983 the gate was made in Tianjin, China and shipped here.
Wear and tear on the gate has dulled its original luster paint and it is now peeling and some tiles have deteriorated but soon it will undergo a $200,000 facelift.
A group of four experts from Tianjin, China are in Philadelphia for two days assessing the gate to determine what has to be done to restore its original beauty.
The evaluation requires historical authenticity in order to restore the ornate drawings and use specific paint that has historical Asian significance.
"The color of the painting, that's the most important part of the restoration," Chen Weiming, of Tianjin, China, said.
China will share the restoration cost with the city of Philadelphia.
"The artisans will come back again, hopefully in late summer beginning of fall, they'll have a whole team to do the work," Cecilia Yep, founder Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp., said.